Monday, September 14, 2009

Back in maintenance mode - yeee haaa!

Ah yes, so I am indeed back in maintenance mode. For me that means I've got back down to my I-feel-good-at-this-weight weight. My jeans are comfortable and I feel leaner. It also means that to maintain this weight I stick to a clean programme every day except Saturdays ... those are my 'free days'. I can eat whatever I want. This works for me.

It works on the physical level - I maintain this weight. And the food that forms the bulk of my diet is tasty, satisfying and nourishing to my body.

This maintenance mode also works for me on a psychological level - I know that come Saturday I can enjoy all the treat foods without guilt. I like to plan ahead ... if we're going to be at home I think about what new recipe I could try cooking. Or if we're going to be out, what restaurant fare sounds appealing. There is also plenty of leeway if we're invited to friends' place for say a barbecue. I get to partake in all the delicious foods on offer and enjoy the great company of friends! Can't get much better than that.

I guess what I really want to say is that I need this 'system' (for want of a better word) to maintain my weight. If I didn't follow this system I would be 20 pounds or more overweight. I am not naturally thin, I am not naturally inclined to eat healthy and really, I have to make myself exercise. I know in my heart that eating healthy and exercise is good for me, but it still requires effort and consistency.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Recipe: beef, mushroom & spinach 'stroganoff'

This is a low-fat, low/no-carb recipe I created to use some lean beef schnitzel I had on hand (it came in my trial order from the winners of the 2009 Steak of Origin Competition). This recipe is sort-of like a stroganoff but without the fattening gravy base.

300g lean steak or schnitzel, sliced thin and into large bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups water
3 heaped teaspoons cornflour
2 cups chopped spinach
low fat plain yogurt

In large saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms until soft. In a separate bowl, mix tamari, wine, water and corn flour together. Add liquid mixture to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron or non-stick pan on medium-high and sear beef so it is brown on both sides but not cooked through or well-done. Cook in batches to avoid the beef stewing in its own juices. Set beef aside. Once the sauce has thickened up in the saucepan, stir in chopped spinach and let simmer on low for a few minutes until spinach is soft. Add in beef and stir through. Serve immediately. Ladle into bowls and top with a large dollop of yogurt. Serves two.

This is also great as leftovers for lunch, reheated and served over brown rice.